Marketers Concerned About Levels of Transparency with Media Agencies

May 30, 2014

ANAForrester-Transparency-Concerns-Media-Agencies-May2014A recent survey from STRATA found that agencies have trust issues with the publishers they partner with (this could be a good reason why…) – and now a survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Forrester Research finds that client-side marketers have concerns about the levels of transparency that exist between them and their media agencies. According to the survey results [download page], some 46% of marketers hold these concerns – and concerns are increasing for 42%.

Among those concerned about transparency, key issues include uncertainty about if/where their ads will run, especially in digital media, and not knowing exactly what their agencies paid the media company. Drilling further into those concerns, the survey indicates that the most common regards the reliance on served impressions rather than viewable impressions for digital media.

The STRATA survey also found a majority of ad agencies undecided on whether or not they trust programmatic ad systems to accurately execute their ad orders. Marketers in the ANA survey, when asked about potential barriers to programmatic buyers, most commonly cited the lack of visibility into data used to defined audience targeting, especially in digital media.

While the results indicate a level of uncertainty about digital media buys, marketers do have some faith in the level of accuracy of audience measurement for some digital media. Respondents (note: small sample size of 86) were most likely to highly rate (top-3 box score on a 10-point scale) the accuracy of online search (58%) and online display (49%), followed by national TV (40%), digital place-based media (39%) and online video (38%). By contrast, social (26%), local TV (26%), radio (26%) and outdoor (16%) were perceived to be the least accurate in terms of audience measurement.

Currently, respondents feel that marketing mix modeling and web analytics are the most important tools for measuring the impact of their media plans, with channel attribution tools and ad effectiveness studies least important. But, the use of attribution by channel is increasing for the largest portion of respondents, with many also increasing their use of web analytics.

About the Data: The 2014 ANA/Forrester Evolution Of Media Buying Survey was conducted online in February 2014 among a sample of 153 client-side marketers and looked at current and projected trends in media transparency, programmatic buying adoption, and metrics. Respondents were drawn from ANA membership and have an average of 17 years of experience in the marketing/advertising industry.

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